Brainerd recommends the following resources for more information about environmental issues and organizations.
At its core, communications is, of course, about connecting with people. And what connects with people more than the perfect picture? Does your organization focus enough on how and what it conveys visually?
As a seed funder of Resource Media's Visual Story Lab, the Brainerd Foundation is excited about its first publication. Seeing is Believing is the culmination of two years of research into the art and science of using pictures to influence, move, and motivate people. It offers a best practices guide on visual storytelling and gives readers the latest research and tools to address this common communications blind spot. We encourage you to download the guide to learn how you can put pictures to work for your organization or your cause.
The Nonprofit Research Collaborative (NRC) has published its research findings, which show that sixty percent of organizations where board members help with fundraising met their 2011 fundraising goals, compared with just 53 percent of organizations without board member engagement.
We all know that for many nonprofits raising money can be an organization's greatest challenge. NRC recently released their report, Engaging Board Members in Fundraising, which is based upon thoughtful research and takes a comprehensive look at the current state of board engagement in fundraising. They offer key benchmarks and analysis of which engagement methods are working in what types of organizations.
As an adviser to the Brainerd Foundation, biologist Gordon Orians once emphatically told our staff and board, "We're small-group primates; we need face time!" We think that is, in part, the reason why compelling data will not win the day by itself.
We're told our ancestors lived in small groups and communicated much of the most important information they needed to share via stories around a fire. Why stories? Perhaps because stories engage the emotions of the listener. In her most recent article for the Nonprofit Quarterly, Simone Joyaux makes the case, based on solid research, that emotional messaging works and purely rational messaging may actually hurt organizations. And we agree with her assertion that savvy nonprofit leaders are well-advised to pay attention to this kind of research.
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